Sun Worshipper (or the legless Great Crane)

A couple of weeks ago I was gritting my teeth and working long hours in my shed to reach a deadline for an exhibition. I was lucky I had an assistant helping me. My son, Arthur, was doing his year 10 work experience week with me (not by choice unfortunately, he wanted to do something related to writing, but couldn’t find anything around here, working with me was the “last resort”!)

I set him to mixing concrete, cutting tiles and fixing them into place and of course in true work experience fashion – making the tea!  Arthur has made several mosaics before and so he generally knows the ropes, but this time we were making a sculpture and this plucked his interest.

My intention was to make an almost life size Great Crane mosaic sculpture for an exhibition “Flight of the Cranes” at Slimbridge Wildlife and Wetlands Centre. It all seemed to be going alright until we were halfway through finishing and then I realized that the steel armature wire just wasn’t  going to hold the weight of the bird. I could bend the legs  into the right position but each time we worked on it, it started to lean and of course the  more mosaic we added the more it leaned!

Strung up body of Great Crane with feet in concrete

So I removed the legs, here is our poor legless Great Crane …

Now he has become part of a new garden area I have made by the side of my shed.

Here he is as the “Sun Worshipper.”  He looks to the west to watch the setting sun. I like to sit on the bench beside him.

I treated the 3 weeks I spent on the sculpture as a learning experience and now I know how to build the next one so it will stand up!  It’s the best way to learn – from your mistakes!!


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